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Biden Proposes Increase in Federal Firefighter Pay

Credit: Unsplash

In recent years, the United States has faced increasingly severe wildfire seasons, with fires growing more frequent and intense. Firefighters have been tirelessly working to contain these blazes, often reaching their limits. With a new wildfire season approaching and a new administration in place, it is crucial for firefighters to receive better compensation for the essential service they provide.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with a group of governors from western states today to address the current heatwave, rising instances of droughts and wildfires, and strategies for combatting them. As part of Biden’s initiative to tackle wildfire challenges, he aims to enhance both the number of federally-employed firefighters and, significantly, their salaries.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for federally-employed firefighters is approximately $55,000, slightly higher for locally hired firefighters. This is notably below the 2019 US median household income of $68,703. Biden finds the low wages unacceptable for these critical emergency responders.

President Biden expressed, “In the past few days alone, we’ve witnessed droughts and wildfires in the Western states. I recently learned that federal firefighters are paid $13 an hour. This will change during my administration.’

Biden’s proposal includes increasing federal firefighter wages to at least $15 per hour and ensuring these wages are maintained long-term rather than just during wildfire season. Additionally, he aims to have more federal employees trained in firefighting procedures as a reserve force for times when additional manpower is required to contain large fires. Moreover, he plans to allocate funds for the advancement of early fire detection technology.

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